Trump allegedly attempted to fire Mueller in 2017

World Today

Robert MuellerRobert Mueller

According to U.S. media, President Trump attempted to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, but White House Counsel Don McGahn refused and threatened to quit.

CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports.

In June 2016, U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly attempted to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

According to the New York Times and other U.S. media organizations, Trump ordered White House lawyer Don McGahn to instruct the Justice Department to fire Mueller. However, McGahn refused and threatened to quit if Trump went through with the firing.

Trump denied the report when asked about it at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Fake news, folks. Fake news. Typical New York Times, fake stories,” Trump said.

According to the New York Times, Trump based his decision on several conflicts he said he had with Mueller that disqualified him: Mueller had worked for a law firm that represented Trump’s son-in-law. Trump also claims Mueller had a dispute with a Trump-owned golf course over fees, and the day before he was named special counsel in May, Mueller interviewed for the FBI director job.

Last August, Trump denied even considering firing Mueller.

“I haven’t given it any thought. I mean, I’ve been reading about it from you people. You say, ‘Oh, I’m going to dismiss him.’ No, I’m not dismissing anybody,” Trump said at the time.

Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and potential obstruction of justice related to the investigation. The probe is looking at Trump’s decision in May to fire then-FBI director James Comey who was investigating the president. Firing Mueller could have raised more concerns about obstruction of justice.